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TSX Ends Weak After Lackluster Session

Save for a brief while early on in the day and for a few minutes around early afternoon, the Canadian stock market was down in the red on Thursday, weighed down by losses in the healthcare space.

Mining stocks exhibited weakness and there were losses for shares from real estate section as well. Stocks from other sections were mostly sluggish.

However, the downside was limited thanks to optimism about an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve later this month.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 35.39 points, or 0.21%, at 16,527.90. The index touched a low of 16,525.07 and a high of 16,568.07 in the session.

In the healthcare space, CannTrust Holdings (TRST.TO) ended nearly 2% down despite closing well off the day's low. The stock extended recent losses

Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) declined about 4.3%. Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) shed 4.2% and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) ended 2.8% down. Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) and Cronos Group (CRON.TO) closed lower by 1.6% and 1.25%, respectively.

Among materials shares, Interfor Corp. (IFP.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Pan American Silver Corp. (PAAS.TO), Methanex Corp. (MX.TO), Kinross Gold Corp. (K.TO), Torex Gold Resources (TXG.TO), Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) and Oceanagold Corp. (OGC.TO) ended lower by 1.4 to 3.5%.

On the other hand, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO), Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO), New Gold Inc. (NGD.TO) and Iamgold Corp (IMG.TO) ended with sharp to moderate losses.

Among energy shares, Enerplus Corp. (ERF.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), Enerflex (EFX.TO) and Precision Drilling Corp. (PD.TO) ended with sharp to moderate losses.

On the other hand, Encana Corp. (ECA.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), PrairieSky Realty (PSK.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Husky Energy (HSE.TO) and ARC Resources (ARX.TO) ended on a positive note.

In the financial section, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) edged up marginally, while Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) and CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO) closed weak.

In economic news, new home prices in Canada dropped 0.1% in May of 2019, after staying unchanged for three consecutive months and against market expectations of a 0.1% rise.

U.S. stocks gave up some gains but still managed to close on the positive side. The Dow and the S&P 500 hit new record closing highs, with the Dow closing above 27,000 for the first time ever.

The Dow jumped 0.9% and the S&P 500 edged up 0.2%, while the Nasdaq closed lower by 0.1%.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher, while most of the markets in Europe closed weak.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for August ended down $0.23, or about 0.4%, at $60.20 a barrel.

Gold futures for August settled lower by $5.80 or about 0.4%, at $1,406.70 an ounce, well off the day's high of $1,429.40 an ounce.

Silver futures for September ended down $0.080, at $15.146 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled at $2.6875 per pound, down $0.0065 from previous close.

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